7 Aug 2020
Blog » Internal Communication - What does Unified Communication & Collaboration mean? Which solution suits which team purposes?
Every company needs good communication for successful collaboration between colleagues, partners and end customers in order to implement projects consistently, increase productivity and achieve new economic success. But what are the parameters that create good communication? And what influence does the factor security have?
Collaboration - the active driver of our communication measures
The technological developments of communication tools are gigantic. And accordingly, our communication behavior among colleagues and with partners has changed rapidly over the past five years. Where communication is about sharing knowledge, collaboration is about actively working together to achieve common goals. We are evolving more from the classic exchange of information via e-mail and telephony to real-time collaboration via chat messages or video conferences and the simultaneous editing of files. The so-called Unified Communication & Collaboration (UC&C) solutions fall exactly under this category.
Non-desk or desk employees - which group do your colleagues belong to?
Before an IT administrator selects a UC&C solution for a team, a department or even an entire company, it is important to clearly determine what intention is to be achieved by a digital communication solution. The definition and desired benefits of active communication exchange are highly individual and vary from industry to industry. But in most cases, product selection depends on the departments and the main tasks of the employees. Regardless of the industry and sector, we pay close attention to the end users and therefore structure our workforce into two broad groups, desk and non-desk.
#1 Desk Employees
Desk or office workers are colleagues who spend most of their time in front of a laptop or desktop and work with office suites such as Microsoft Office 365 or Adobe Creative Suite. In an agile organization, the digital workplace empowers these people to work remotely where, when and how they want - with maximum flexibility and minimal constraints - to optimize performance and do their best work.
#2 Non-desk employees
Non-desk employees are in most cases the colleagues who manufacture the product, provide the services and interact with the customers. It may be hard to believe, but these very employees make up 75% of all employees in many industries. These can be, for example, production workers, nurses, stewardesses, construction workers, police officers, logistics staff, etc. These people are almost 100% mobile, but in most cases, they are equipped and networked with mobile devices. For successful communication and collaboration, it is important to create a bond with these employees. The most important factor is that mobile employees are offered a basis to get in contact with other "frontline workers" or office employees in real-time.
With these two groups in mind, niche providers have developed as well as renowned technology providers have continued to focus, develop and specialize. Meanwhile, the market is very fragmented, so that when actively researching a corporate communications solution, an overview can quickly be lost. The answer to the question of what the right solution is for a particular department and/or company can be found only with difficulty.
Which Unified Communication & Collaboration Tool (UC&C) solution is most valuable for which employees?
#1 Slack & Microsoft teams - the big players in the Digital Workplace
The largest UC&C platform vendors and direct competitors are Microsoft Teams and Slack. Microsoft Teams is available free of charge as a direct solution in the Microsoft Office 365 Suite. Slack is an independent platform that provides direct integrations and connectors to Office tools via API interfaces. Both solutions strive for the best possible communication and collaboration among office workers of any size, bundled through a more comprehensive, and particularly on the desktop, more complex user interface. Document sharing and simultaneous editing is just one of many key features.
In addition to the platforms, specialists such as Zoom have also made a name for themselves in the video conferencing world. Video conferencing tools are currently very popular communication amplifiers. The question that arises here is only to what extent the collaboration factor can be expanded here in contrast to the communication focus.
#2 Business Messaging for mobile employees
In companies, the number of users per software license is purchased accurately and with care. Not everyone, and especially not mobile employees, need Microsoft Office packages, for example. First of all, mobile employees want to chat quickly, easily and intuitively as in WhatsApp. In addition, mobile employees have different requirements for communication and collaboration. Microsoft Teams or Slack do not address these needs in detail, so some mobile use cases are not covered.
Teamwire, on the other hand, as a specialist in secure business messaging, focuses precisely on the needs of mobile employees. Effortless and effective communication via chat and/or voice at any time, any place, on any occasion, so that a reliable connectedness between mobile workers and office workers is guaranteed by relevant product features.
Three years ago, we published a blog article about the disadvantages of Microsoft Teams and Slack for Enterprise Messaging. A very important factor in this context is guaranteed data security and maximum data sovereignty for the customer. Teamwire is a DSGVO-compliant messenger for companies, authorities and the health care sector. In general, Teamwire is an easily configurable service that completely implements all data protection requirements of a customer and can be easily integrated into Mobile Application Management (MDM)/ Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) environments. In addition, the location of the data can be individually determined by the customer, as a cloud, private cloud or on-premises solution.
Teamwire is therefore not a Microsoft Team or Slack alternative, but can be used as a supplement and/or substitute for a secure communication exchange.
To conclude, unified communication and collaboration tools, be it a platform or point solution, provide the following benefits:
- Real-time communication through direct coordination
- Permanent connections to all colleagues
- Convenience - creating a connection across all devices
- Team development through a more natural flow in communication exchange
- Better collaboration through direct data exchange
- Archiving of exchanges
To make the right decision about which UC&C tool best suits your company or a certain pool of employees, ask yourself the following questions:
#1 What group of employees needs to be supported?
#2 What innovative communication and collaboration features do workers need to cover the most important use cases and become more productive?
#3 To what extent must the solution be multi-device and cross-platform (Web and mobile apps)? Is it applicable to the workgroup?
#4 Is the user interface quick and easy for employees to understand and use?
#5 Is comprehensive data protection (DSGVO) and data sovereignty guaranteed?
#6 Is professional administration and compliance provided as standard, so that company-wide control is ensured?
If you would like a detailed description of the advantages of the Teamwire Business Messaging App solution over a UC&C platform solution, request a demo and let our sales team advise you.